January 2012: Japanese Litigation Update

by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

In This Issue:

- Japanese Record Labels Sue YouTube Downloader Site

The Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ), an organization representing the Japanese music recording industry, issued a press release stating that 31 Japanese record labels filed a collective lawsuit on August 19th in Tokyo District Court against local firm MusicGate. According to the lawsuit, the defendant MusicGate operates an internet site called Tubefire that enables free downloads of music videos posted on YouTube. The labels are demanding 230 million Yen (around $3 million) in damages from MusicGate. RIAJ states that Tubefire attracts more than 2.2 million visitors a month, and that a huge volume of music video files have been illegally downloaded through the site. RIAJ claims that Tubefire replicated music video without permission of the copyright owners, which violated Japanese Copyright Law by infringing on the reproduction and distribution rights of the copyright owners. According to a RIAJ survey of Tubefire users, files protected by the labels’ copyrights were illegally replicated around 10,000 times a month. Based on the results, the labels calculated damages equal to the amount they would have earned if the music files were bought from official distributors. Although Tubefire has already ceased operations, several other websites still provide the same service. A RIAJ survey estimates that about 1.2 billion music files are illegally downloaded annually, while legitimately purchased music during 2010 amounted to about only 0.44 billion. At the first hearing, held on October 12th, MusicGate sought dismissal of the claims against it.

- Canon Wins Ink Cartridge Patent Infringement Suit in the Japanese Supreme Court

Canon Inc. had sued six other ink cartridge makers claiming that their products, which are compatible with Canon-manufactured ink-jet printers infringe one of Canon’s patents. The defendant makers imported and sold allegedly infringing ink cartridges manufactured in Hong Kong. They were widely sold at lower prices than genuine Canon cartridges. The Intellectual Property High Court recognized that the defendants’ products had infringed the Canon patent and ordered the defendants to stop importing and selling those products. The defendants appealed, but the Japanese Supreme Court upheld the ruling of the High Court on September 29th. This case represents a major victory in the battle printer manufacturers have waged in recent years -- in Japan, the U.S. and Europe -- against the manufacturers of consumables made for use in their printers.

- New Regulation Against Organized Crime Group Takes Effect in Tokyo: In October, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government introduced a new regulation against organized crime groups (commonly known as “Yakuza”). Although similar regulations had already taken effect in other prefectures, the enforcement in the capital city of Japan has a substantial impact. Yakuza was listed as one of four significant transnational criminal organizations in U.S. President Barack Obama’s July 25th executive order authorizing new sanctions against criminal cartels (the others are Los Zetas, Camorra and the Brothers’ Circle). The principal intent of this regulation is to weaken the economic power of members of such organizations (which are defined by the act as “gangsters”) by encouraging companies in their efforts to refrain from entering into contracts with them. Three important aspects of the regulation should be noted. First, whenever entering into a contract, companies must make their efforts to make sure the other party is not a “gangster” under the Act. In addition, companies are strongly encouraged to include contract clauses enabling them to cancel a contract if they find later find cause to believe that the other party qualifies as a “gangster” under the Act. Second, companies must not provide any “profits” to covered “gangsters.” Third, companies should watch for “gangsters by association”-- the act makes clear that a “gangster” includes those who have a “close relationship” with other “gangsters,” in addition to official members of organized crime groups.

Please see full issue below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.